I Believe in Inclusion

In 2013 I participated in BlogElul for the first time. Now I find myself wondering if it's “cheating” to look back at what I previously wrote for any given prompt. On the one hand, there is something significant to be said about authenticity. And yet, on the other hand, I am an educator, and my most successful lessons are those that I build upon from year to year. I don’t scrap what worked and start over just for the very sake of “new”. Rather, I capitalize on a lesson’s success and fine tune it to increase student engagement.

And so I share an updated (but not reinvented) post for the BlogElul prompt “Believe”:

I Beleive in Inclusion - Removing the Stumbling Block 
I believe in inclusion. 

I believe that each of us is created b’tzelem elohim (in the image of God).

I believe that inclusion is possible in every congregation, in every religious school, in every day school, in every Jewish organization.

I believe that we can work together to ensure that every child and every adult has an appropriate opportunity to learn Torah.

I believe that it is the responsibility of every educator, every teacher and every school leader to learn the strategies necessary to make inclusive education possible.

I believe in inclusion. 

I believe that all Jews have a right to live a meaningful Jewish life and that no one can determine what meaningful is for anyone else.

I believe that every person has a gift to offer to society.

I believe that it is incumbent upon us as families, as congregations, as a society and as human beings to help each person with and without disabilities bring his/her gift forward.

I believe these words from Pirkei Avot – As Rabbi Tarfon taught: "It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but neither are you free to desist from it" (2:16).

I believe in inclusion.

This post is a part of the month-long series #BlogElul. The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... 
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